False: 2007

False is arguably the least high-profile of Matthew Dear's personae, with the audacious extroversion of the electro-pop material issued under his given name and hard techno under Audion naturally inviting a more raucous reception. But, on the basis of the full-length 2007, his comparatively low-key False alias shouldn't be counted out. Even in this more restrained context, Dear finds imaginative ways to distinguish his work from the competition, and the subtle tweaking he indulges in throughout (like the looped sample snippet of voices in “Timing” and echoing claps in the infectious shuffler “Plus Plus”) lends the release strong appeal.

Ever the provocateur, Dear's live set opens with the nearly-inaudible “Indy 3000” before the more representative “Meat Me in the Markt” metronomically steps forth. The album's in many ways an exercise in slow-build and tension-and-release with each cut incrementally adding to the intensity level of the one before. The fifth cut, “Alright Liar,” finds the album at a comfortably funky mid-tempo chug amidst clicks, loops, and synth stabs. Soon after, Dear's repeated “Shout!” injects “Dollar Down” with micro-hits of energy, and synth flares erupt during the simmering acid-boogie of “Act Like Children/Excalibur.” It's at this stage that the album assumes lift-off—a little too late for some listeners, in all probability—and lays the ground for the third act. Following the aggressive rumble of “In the Heather,” synth lasers simultaneously plummet, ascend, and stab during the amazing, Audion-styled “Fed on Youth/HLM/DLG.” Rising from its psychotic ashes, “Stomachs/Ankle Biter” starts the journey home with a signature Dear house pulse that escalates into a dizzying vortex of voices and white noise, before hallucinogenic voice swirls in “Forgetting” close the set in stunning manner. 2007 reaffirms Dear's status as a master craftsman, one effortlessly capable of locating a perfect middle ground between experimentation and groove. Without seemingly breaking a sweat, Ghostly's finest unleashes one golden moment after another, regardless of the alias in question.

August 2007